Located in the heart of the beautiful Napa Valley wine country, Bothe-Napa Valley State Park offers camping at 50 campsites, picnicking, swimming, and hiking trails that go through stands of coastal redwoods as well as forests of Douglas-fir, tanoak, and madrone. Daytime visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll in Ritchey Canyon to view the delicate ferns and listen to the water splashing down the rocky creekbed. Bring your wine and cheese and picnic under the towering Douglas Firs. On hot summer days, grab a swimsuit and towel and come enjoy a dip in the park's swimming pool open on weekends, beginning on Memorial Day weekend through mid-June, then daily through Labor Day, from 12- 6pm. There is an additional fee for the use of the swimming pool, to be paid at the park entrance. The large picnic grounds are located in the day-use area, and are even available for group events and getaways. A covered area for group use contains picnic tables, a sink and an electrical outlet with a horseshoe pit and wheelchair-accessible restroom nearby. Whether you visit the back country on a several hour hike or take a mere stroll along the creekbed, you will enjoy a close-up look at all the natural beauty the park has to offer. There are well over 10 miles of trail for your indulgence. Summer temperatures may reach 105 degrees Fahrenheit, but nights are usually cool. In the fall, when daytime temperatures are more pleasant, the leaves begin to turn, creating a dramatic and colorful display. Temperatures don't often go below freezing and snow is infrequent, but nearly 45 inches of rain are apt to fall during a single winter - between December and March. Dogs are restricted to the camp and picnic areas and must be leashed. They are not permitted on the trails or in the pool area. The park is open 8am-sunset.
I did Ritchey Canyon to Spring Trail to South Fork to Coyote Peak, which looped back to the Redwoods Trail. This was 5.35 miles and 1,924 feet of climbing (according to Runkeeper).
I came across several deer on Ritchey Trail and a rattle snake up on the rocks of Coyote Peak Trail, so keep an eye out.
Don't bother with the last ascent up to Coyote Peak. It's gnarly and you really cannot see anything because of the trees! The best view is at the trail marker on the exposed rocks below the final ascent. I did not go up to the Homestead site.
I had no trouble following the trail markers to create my own loop.
Go to Napa Bothe Valley State Park, drive past the turn-off to the campsites and park at the end of the road, the historic trail starts here.The trail is easy to moderate in places, take water and a small donation for the tour at the end..You hike past a old pioneer cemetery and through a fine example of California foothill oak/madrone type forest and wind up at the Bale Grist mill, the only operating stone wheat mill left in California!
This is a fun and moderate hike from Bothe-Napa SP, past the Pioneer Cemetery to the Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park. Great day hike for families with a really cool working mill that the docents have really put a lot of work and effort into restoring to it's original state.
Ronald Eric M. on Ritchey Canyon Trail and Coyote Pea...
First, it must be understood that despite the official park description, there are no vista views of the Napa Valley or vineyards from any part of this park. (Coyote Peak might have had them once, but now high thickets block all views). Most of these trails are easy, some are even roads. The only difficulty is the elevation rise. Walking shoes would suffice for all except the Upper Ritchey and the Coyote trails. Really, the only attraction of this hike is being alone among tall redwoods.
Most of the trails are in second-growth redwoods, and the stumps indicate that the present trees are now the size of those logged over a century ago. On this Thursday August 2nd morning in 2012, I saw no-one else on the trails until finishing with the descent from Coyote Peak after noon.
The Upper Ritchey Canyon trail ended after crossing at a former bridge; in a clearing apparently the site of a former home (no traces remain), an enameled pot sits on a flat-faced stone which apparently at one time had a rectangular plaque. After searching up to 100 yards in several directions, I could find no proper track onward; and when I found 15-foot trees growing in the very middle of what appeared to have been a track, I concluded there was no sanctioned way onward. It was approximately 3.2 miles from the parking lot to here, and that seems to coincide with reports of the length of the entire hike. Therefore, I concluded that the pot signified the end of the trail.
The GPS track I have uploaded is missing the first portion of the hike.
I did the full loop including the Redwood and the Coyote Peak trail. Directions to trailhead: Bothe-Napa Valley State Park is located on the side of Highway 29 in the Napa Valley, ﬁve miles north of St. Helena, four miles south of Calistoga. Leave your car by the visitor center or at the horse trailer parking area just past the campground road turnoff where the trail begins. The trail, which travels west beneath big leaf maple, madrone and oaks soon crosses a paved road and begins paralleling the road to the campground, as well as Ritchey Creek. Beneath the tall Douglas ﬁr and redwoods grows a tangle of ferns, bay laurel and wild grape. After 0.5 mile, you'll pass a trail on your right leading to the campground. A mile out, the forest thins and you intersect Coyote Peak Trail on your left. Recently re-worked and re-routed Coyote Peak Trail climbs high and dry terrain and offers good views of Upper Ritchey Canyon, plus glimpses of the wine country and mighty Mt. Saint Helena. As the path steepens, you'll pass more big redwoods and ﬁr. About 1.5 miles along, you cross Ritchey Creek (usually an easy crossing except when rains swell the creek). This is a good turnaround point for the leg-weary or families with small children. The trail continues up-canyon, crossing Ritchey Creek again and linking up with Upper Ritchey Canyon Trail. After passing a junction with Spring Trail, you climb above the forest into a brushy environment of manzanita and scrub oak, then dip back into the redwoods. Three miles from the trailhead, your path forks. The main trail angles left, then climbs south to the park boundary. A better bet is the right fork, which leads over an old bridge to an 1885 homestead site, where plum and apple trees grow in a picnic-perfect clearing. Return the same way, or take a slightly longer route back via either Spring Trail or Coyote Peak Trail.
Bothe Napa State Park is a hidden gem in the middle of Napa Valley. There are a few trails and different combinations to choose from. The Ritchey Canyon Trail runs parallel along the Ritchey Creek. There are several areas where redwood trees grow. The first mile is pretty even and then the next 2 1/2 miles are a steep climb. We went up to the end of the trail to Traverso Homestead which was pretty anti-climatic and could probably be skipped all together. We will definitely go back to the park to hit the Coyote Peak trail.